TOMS RIVER-Hundreds of students from the Toms River Regional School District lined the streets of Downtown Toms River to celebrate Veterans Day on Monday.
The annual parade is hosted by the American Legion Post 129. Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day marks the date ended World War I on November 11, 1918
Mayor Thomas Kelaher, a Marine Corps veteran began the parade ceremony by acknowledging the American Legion and thanking his fellow veterans.
“I want to commend the American Legion for hosting this parade every year,” Mayor Thomas Kelaher said. “What we’re doing here today demonstrates not only to all of our troops on active duty that we care about them and have their back, but also to the young people who may be called upon to serve the country, you should note that if that happens, we’ll support you.”
Kelaher spoke of the importance of Veterans Day as a day to remember those who served and as a reminder that war is a part of our society that we cannot seem to escape.
“It’s the characteristics of human nature, no matter what effort we make, we’ll always be confronted with war in our society,” Kelaher said.
Councilman Marice “Mo” Hill, a retired U.S. Naval Reserves Rear Admiral addressed the audience after Mayor Kelaher.
“Today we have only about 6% of our population who are veterans in an all-volunteer service,” Hill said. “At any time, less than one percent of our population is serving.”
Hill said those who serve are volunteers and neighbors who gave the government a blank check to serve.
Photos: Handout Photos, Toms River Township.